Five-hour power cut leaves shops in dark

POWER was cut to about 30 businesses in Huddersfield yesterday when contractors sliced through electricity cables.

And it probably lost traders thousands of pounds.

Excavation work was being carried out on Byram Street.

The fault was reported at 10.34am and was restored about 4pm.

David Ridgeway, owner of Keys Cafe under Huddersfield Parish Church, said Kirklees Council contractors were fitting phone lines into council offices.

He said power had gone off to his business and most of the other businesses on Byram Street including Ryan's newsagent, Rawcliffe's, Neaverson's, Kirkwood Hospice shop, Roger David hairdressers and Earnshaw Shoes.

He said he had lost about £1,000 from takings and £1,000 from buffet catering he could not prepare.

"I am just so angry with them about this. It will have cost businesses here thousands of pounds because you can't have staff and customers in if there is no power.

"It's a lot of money when you have bills to pay and staff to pay. But as soon as you mention compensation, everyone runs for cover and starts talking lawyers."

A spokesman for CE Electric UK, the region's electricity distributor, said: "A contractor hit one of our cables and caused a supply interruption affecting about 25 customers."

When the repair teams came out for safety reasons they had to cut supply to a further 10 customers.

"We'd like to apologise to the customers affected by the damage to our cable today.

"We have done everything possible to repair this as quickly as we can."